Hi Jim,

I’m just starting out as a writer. I was hoping that you could give me some advice. I have an idea, and I’m starting to put it on paper. I’ve gone through a lot of your other advice columns, but I was wondering if you could give me just some general advice for being a writer.


Hi Alana,

I’d be happy to! Welcome to the world of writing! Hopefully, you find it as fulfilling as many of us have. So a piece of advice…

Well, I’ve already told people not to get discouraged, I’ve told people how to handle criticism, I’ve certainly gone over the ins and outs of writing, but as a general overall rule… I suppose I haven’t given out that piece of advice yet.

All right, if there is one general piece of advice I could give you in becoming a writer, it’s a very simple set of three words;

Don’t Be Toxic. 

So what do I mean by that? Well, to be honest, there are two types of people in this world whom I have little to no time or tolerance for. I don’t give them the time of day, nor do I care about their opinions. Who are these people, you ask? Let’s go through them.

  1. The perpetual victim.
    I can’t stand this person. No matter how much they’ve screwed things up for themselves, there’s always someone else to blame. They’ve completely deluded themselves into thinking that they’re always a victim and no one is ever going to change their mind. If they’re not blaming a friend, coworker, etc., they’re blaming another group of people (clique/race/gender/religion/etc.) for their failures. If you’re not doing well in life, 99.99% of the time, IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT! Everyone has choices, everyone must find their own way and yes, there are times when the world will be stacked against you. However, that does not afford you the luxury of blaming everyone else for your failings. If you fall, it is because you let it happen. No matter how bad things are, there is always a way out if you’re willing to make the hard decisions.
  2.  Superiority Complexes.
    I don’t have time or tolerance for people who think they’re better than others. That their opinion is the moral/ethical right, so they’re above criticism, or that their work is so superior to whatever else they’ve seen, that they don’t have to suffer criticism, be it positive or negative. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a high opinion of yourself, in fact, I encourage it, but there’s a point where your opinion of yourself is so high that you somehow think you’re above everyone else.

Both of these types of people do not respond well to having their worldview challenged, they often respond angrily, if not violently, or in a derogatory manner, so I really don’t even bother. These people are best left in their own bubbles. (Don’t worry, said bubbles will eventually burst, guaranteed.)

What does that have to do with writing? If you think that such things do not spill over into your writing or dealing with readers/critics, you are making a serious error. It does, and people tend to pick up on it. Writing will come off as whiny or smug, and god forbid someone comes to that person with a piece of constructive criticism.

So that’s really the best piece of general advice I can give a person, though that is mostly due to it being my personal preference. Let’s open it up to my reader base and see if they have any feedback/advice they can offer. Everyone, leave a comment down below and let’s keep the conversation going!


Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.


I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:


If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!


One Comment on “Advice for Writers, Advice for Life #Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction

  1. Listen to fans and critics alike, learn what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, and adjust accordingly. You have final say in the world you’re creating and in the end it’s your vision and the type of story you want to tell, but outside input can be beneficial as well as a pain. It’s a matter of figuring out if they’re the audience you’re going after.

    This is even more true if you’re taking on an established series or franchise, since they were into it possibly before you were, know the universe, know the characters as well as they do their own friends, may even have been inspired by them in real life, and will not only know you changed or ignored things that matter to them but will get mad at you for it. Sometimes it’s justified and sometimes it’s out of hand but you have to make a judgement call there as well. Balancing that with the stories you want to tell is difficult but worth it in the end and if a story or an idea doesn’t work for series A, keep it around for a project where it will work and can win it’s own fan base.

    Liked by 1 person

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